Chippenham Salvation Army knitters putting smiles on people’s faces

published on 7 Dec 2018


“It’s our way of giving something back to society”

A CHIPPENHAM knitting group has been decorating the town centre and local businesses with colourful knitted hats and scarves to spread festive cheer this Christmas. 
The Salvation Army’s knit ‘n’ natter group meets every week in Foghamshire, and this - its latest yarn bombing stunt -  is aimed at putting a smile on local people’s faces.
Yarn bombing involves covering objects in public places - such as benches or railings, in knitted or crocheted items.

This Christmas, the group decided to brighten up Chippenham by leaving the hats and scarves around the town centre to give something back to the local community.
And people who are sleeping rough in the town are also welcome to take the items to help them fend off the winter chills. 

“The yarn bombing is our way of giving something back to society but it started off as a bit of fun to brighten up the town and to let people know about the knit ‘ n’ natter group at The Salvation Army” said Helen Osborne, who is 67 and a member of the knitting group.

“The knit ‘ n’ natter group is fun and sociable and everyone’s welcome but there’s also the added benefit of knowing that what we do here is helping people in our local community. I enjoy the look on people’s faces when they see the yarn bombing and with the knitting we do for the Syrian refugees, there’s also the sense of knowing someone will appreciate and cherish what we’ve made for them.  

“It’s also about making friends, feeling useful and having a bit of fun and passing on our skills to other people by teaching them how to knit. It’s very rewarding and satisfying” adds Helen.

In previous years, the group left woolly hats on bollards on the high street and tied pompoms to the River Avon high street bridge.
The knit ‘n’ natterers have also laid knitted poppies outside the town hall for Remembrance Sunday.

“The yarn bombing started a few years ago when Helen suggested that we could knit woolly hats and put them on the bollards in the high street to brighten the town centre up and Robert - who is a member of the group, made strings of pompoms to go on the railings and trees near the town hall” said Janet Parsons, 73.

“We thought it would be good fun and it was. We all enjoyed it and later found out what we did was called ‘Yarn bombing’ and it’s been something we’ve been doing ever since.”
The knit ‘n’ natter group meets every Friday morning at 10.00am at The Salvation Army hall in Foghamshire.

Major Dawn McGarvey of The Salvation Army in Chippenham said:
“Everyone’s welcome at knit ‘n’ natter and it’s a very friendly group. We’ve currently got 15 members, but the more the merrier and new members are always welcome, but knit ‘n’ natter is just one of the many activities that we provide at The Salvation Army in Chippenham. 

“We also run a Cameo – ‘Come and meet each other’ - a fellowship group for men and women, followed by tea and coffee on Wednesdays and we’ve got a luncheon club after that where you can get a two-course hot meal for £4 and lots, lots more.”

For more information about The Salvation Army in Chippenham, call 01249 655458 or visit their web page.